36 - Tag time again

1. What is your current obsession?
I can't reveal her name in public :P

2. What are you wearing today?
Right now, shorts and t-shirt. Plan to wear kurta-pajama in the evening.

3. What's for dinner?
Dinner at friend's place.

4. What was the last thing you bought?
A haircut!

5. What are you listening to right now?
I am humming random songs to myself.

6. What do you think about the person who tagged you?
I picked it up from two of my friends' blog.

7. If you could have a house totally paid for, fully furnished anywhere in the world, where would you like it to be?
It will be somewhere in the hills, by a lakeside, with a fireplace, and good stock of books and drinks.

8. What are your must-have pieces for summer?
Cotton, and more cotton.

9. If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go?
Mt. Everest!

10. Which language do you want to learn?
Sign language.

11. What’s your favourite quote?
"The grass is always greener on the other side of the river" - I actually use this a lot.

12. Who do you want to meet right now?
All my friends.

13. What is your favorite colour?
Blue. Depends really.

14. What is your favorite piece of clothing in your own closet?
A pair of jeans.

15. What is your dream job?

16. What’s your favourite magazine?
I don't have a fav magazine - I read them all randomly.

17. If you had $100 now, what would you spend it on?
Chandni bar... here I come...

18. What do you consider a fashion faux pas?
Black belt, brown shoes.

19. Who according to you is the most over-rated style icon?
Fardeen Khan

20. What kind of haircut do you prefer?
On me, crew cut. On ladies, the kind they show on shampoo ads.

21. What are you going to do after this?
Go to Chandni bar with the $100 I got from question#17.

22. What are your favourite movies?
Too many.. but Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Satyajit Ray movies are right there at the top.

23. What are three cosmetic/makeup/perfume products that you can't live without?
Deo, After shave, and moisturizer.

24. What inspires you?
The satisfaction of doing something well inspires me.

25. Give us three styling tips that always work for you
Get yourself a healthier body, wear comfortable clothes, and feel confident.

26. What do you do when you “have nothing to wear” (even though your closet’s packed)?
Jeans and T-shirt :)

27. Coffee or tea?
My day starts with tea. Thereafter, coffee please.

28. What do you do when you are feeling low or terribly depressed?
I sing to myself, and philosophize.

29. What is the meaning of your name?
Auspicious lamp.

30. Which other blogs do you love visiting?
They are all listed on the right panel of this blog.

31. Favorite Dessert/Sweet?
The one that is available - I am sweet crazy; it's better if I don't have a choice.

32. Favorite Season?

33. If I come to your house now, what would u cook for me?

34. What is the right way to avoid people who purposefully hurt you?
I need to learn to do this.

35. What are you afraid of the most?

36.Is it possible to be in love with two persons simultaneously?
No for me, if I got the context right.

I tag - everyone reading this. Enjoy.


It's plain funny how some brands catch the imagination of the "public" in India. Generic products will be called by a brand name; and people insist that it is the right name. For example, when I asked someone at work to get a "photocopy", he tried to correct me by saying, "You mean Xerox?". It's not his fault, I guess. Every street corner in Kolkata you will find a sign boasting "Xerox by Canon" or plain "Xerox", although if you look inside the shop, the machine could be Canon, HP, IBM, etc.

Then, of course, all kind of instant noodle is Maggi. Chocolates, used to be, and sometimes even now, is Cadbury! Luxury buses, even if they are made by Ashok Leyland, Tata, or some other company, boasts of "Volvo" service! My mom says, when she was a kid, detergent powder was referred to as "Surf"! Even now, people buy "Band Aid" instead of "adhesive dressings". I am sure there are so many other examples that I can't recall now!


BSNL broadband at home was not working. Follow up to fix it didn't happen during the Pujas.
Office policy (and work pressure) doesn't allow browsing.

So, let bygones be bygones. The good thing is I am back, isn't it?

A bachelor and a gentleman

If it happened just once, I would have ignored it. But, twice in a week is too much of a coincidence to ignore!

If I may say so myself, people generally consider me as a gentleman. But twice this week, this has been misunderstood. Twice during the course of discussion about "roving eyes" of other men, I had to face embarrassing questions about my sexuality and usual "Dostana" jokes! Why is it that people have to criticize the behavior of others as lewd, obscene or crass, yet cannot accept someone who is not behaving like that as a straight single gentleman?

All in a (Sun)day's work

Several cups of tea.
A short haircut.
A long-due tiring workout.
Moving stuff at home, that was long due too.
Clothes shopping with my brother-in-law.
Going to a movie with friends. Visit a friend, who couldn't join us for the movie, for post movie tea.
Taking a long walk by the lake.
Planning for next Sunday!

Ten days, nine nights

This is one of those posts, where I come back to my blog and see that the last post was written quite a few days ago, and see that I had so much to write but still didn't write, and didn't realise it was that long since I last wrote anything. If that confused you, never mind, I am not known for my lyrical prose anyway! Let me just go on...

Almost exactly two years after I took a break from the corporate world, I joined a company this week. Although I was enjoying work with my friends over the last couple of years, at some point in time, I guess this was bound to happen. As you can imagine, the first few days in this new place were really crazy (a positive crazy, like busy-crazy). Wish me luck people for this new journey.

Leaving you with an image from Chandipur, a place in Orissa which I visited just before joining. As all tours with childhood friends and like-minded friends go, this one was a blast. Even the post trip party last night was a total blast. Some people realized how drunk they were after the videos were shown! Some realized how liberal they become with their singing when they think no ones listening. Those who didn't make it to this trip realized how much fun they missed out on.

हिंदी पुस्तक के खोज में

I can read Hindi - slowly, write Hindi - with very bad spelling and handwriting, and speak Hindi - with mistakes, especially gender related and pronunciations. But I am not ashamed of those. After all, it is only the third language I know. To improve my hindi, I try to speak as often as I can. It is my effort to read Hindi, that I am not particularly happy about. I have tried to ask a few friends who are native speakers of the language, and I still don't have a list of writers who represent modern Hindi literature.

I am also worried, because none of my friends are reading Hindi, when I know some of them do read a lot. Forget about reading, they are not even aware about the Hindi literary scene from what I understand. I don't remember a recent Hindi movie which is based on original literary work. I don't remember anyone talking about a Hindi books, whereas a lot of noise is heard about works in English. Does that mean that there is a lack of interest in Hindi literature among people today? That would be sad, since I firmly believe a language evolves and enriches through written work.

BTW, I am currently reading two Bangla books, both fiction, but fact based. And even if I am not a big fan of modern Bangla fiction, I can tell you the names of at least five contemporary authors. I might also be able to suggest you books in Bangla based on your interest / genre. I know people discuss literature here. Why is it not the same with my Hindi speaking friends?

Please prove that my feeling is wrong. Tell me Hindi lit scene is thriving. Help me find some good Hindi literature.

Bagful of tag

Tagged by Swati. BTW, I already have another tag pending from Aseem, which I shall do shortly too. So, anyway, here are the rules for this one:

Use the first letter of your name to answer each of the following questions. They have to be real- nothing made up! If the person before you had the same first initial, you must use different answers. You cannot use any word twice and you can't use your name for the boy/girl name question.

And now the Q&A:

1. What is your name: Subhadip
2. A four Letter Word: Sure!
3. A boy's Name: Subhash (means one who speaks well. Example: Subhash Ch. Bose)
4. A girl's Name: Saina (Nehwal... go Saina)
5. An occupation: Storm chasing
6. A colour: Silver
7. Something you wear: Shirt (that was easy :P)
8. A food: Seekh Kabab
9. Something found in the bathroom: Shaving kit
10. A place: Sikkim
11. A reason for being late: Slow traffic :P
12. Something you shout: Shut up!
13. A movie title: Sholay (now can I change the previous answer to "Suaar ke bachchoo"?)
14. Something you drink: Shake
15. A musical group: Scorpions
16. An animal: Sperm Whale
17. A street name: Southern Avenue (the greenest street in Kolkata)
18. A type of car: Sportscar
19. Something scary: Seppuku (Japanese suicide ritual)
20. Ice cream flavour: Strawberry

I tag
Aseem: Since he is new to this blog & tag business. And I do intend to do the existing tag on your blog.
Kanu: Because she doesn't write frequently at all and I miss her sarcasm.
Adisha: Same reason as above minus the sarcasm.
Rohit: Since his reaction is bound to be "What the F%$&... this is so old stuff man... do I have to do it?"
Richa: Because she is most likely to do it.
Butterfly: Because her frequency of posting has drastically reduced, and her answers are likely to be the most innocent.

Others please feel free to get yourself tagged.

Kachukhali revisited

This time it was to accompany a team, who went there to see how the rebuilding process is going on. They were gracious enough to ask me to join them, so that I could see for myself how the money my friends contributed (responding to this post) is being utilised.
Overall, the situation is still very grim, but the people there are not down in spirits like the last time I thought they were. This time, I saw them joke about the situation frequently, even when the topic is as grim as imminent food crisis, or cattle death. Some people are still living in make shift shacks like the one in this picture, built on the road, right next to the embankment.

We even got someone to go on a "mission", to collect all the duck eggs that she could get in the neighborhood and sell them to one of us, and she collected 39 eggs! While we were returning, we were informed she just missed two more eggs, which were delivered by the ducks after she had collected the eggs. BTW, shrimps are one of the few things surviving well in the salty waters, and ducks are doing well there, because they are getting a lot of shrimps to eat on.

One of the first steps of the rebuilding process is to clear out the ponds of salty water, and let the monsoon rain fill the ponds with sweet water. This ensures water for everyday use and also the survival of small fish, which are a main food source here.
The farms are still filled with salty water though. Trust me, the stagnant water on these fields do not smell good. I wonder if there can be farming on those fields for months to come.
Inspiration of the day came from this man. He was planting a few saplings, apparently conditioned for salt water. In the background you can see the saplings that he planted last time, now dead. On asked if these will survive in the salty water, he said, "I am not sure, but let me try. What options do I have? I am a farmer, this is what I am supposed to do".

My friends, those who contributed towards this, I assure you, your money was well spent. The love that I received from the people of Kachukhali, it was meant for sharing with you. The food that they stuffed me with, was certainly meant for all of us, and not just one person! I wish I could take you with me to get to know this place.

Apart from all the serious stuff, this time, I learnt a few other things as well. I learnt about bee farming. I also learnt how simple traps (for fish and shrimps) work. Then, I also got an intensive and practical course on how to walk on slippery grounds!

You can see more pictures here

Why I couldn't write a post last night

For various reasons mostly good, I was thinking about my friends for the last three days. Since yesterday was "Friendship day", I even started writing about it when I came back home at about 8:30 pm. I wanted to write about how wonderful my friends are ... that they think of me once in a while ... they call me / meet me... they have supported me during my dark hours... they cheer me up when I feel low... etc, etc.

But just when I started writing that, my friends called me and asked me to get out of my house, as they were coming to "abduct" me for tea. This was at about 9:30 in the night, just about my dinner time, and we went for tea a few kms away from our place, then a long walk in search of paan, and ended up having kulfi, with loads of laughter and a few pranks.

Happy Friendship Day :)

I want to break free

It was one of those lazy afternoons, when a discussion about free software started. We got discussing whether it is feasible and sustainable to use only free software, but we couldn't quite come to any conclusions. A few days later, I got my new netbook, and decided to try and prove that it is possible to rely totally on free software. Hence this experiment. I will use only free software for the next one year on my netbook for my personal use.

My netbook came pre-loaded with Microsoft Windows XP, Microsoft Office (free trial version), McAfee Anti-Virus (free trial version), Microsoft Works (bundled).

For now, I am keeping the Windows XP (since it's bundled with the laptop). Right now, I am in no mood to switch to Linux. I will keep my serious eye open for Chrome OS.
I decided not to buy the licenses for MS Office (I hate the 2007 version anyway) once their trial period expires. Instead will keep Microsoft Works for office productivity suite (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc) as it is bundled - the other option was to go for OpenOffice (which I have used earlier).

In addition, I installed the following software, all of them free, for my everyday use:

Firefox - My browser of choice. With those killer add-ons (like DownloadHelper for YouTube videos), I don't think I am going to use IE anytime soon.
VLC player - to play all kind of video files including the YouTube ones.
DivX - to play those HD videos.
Picasa - for organising photographs and minor edit jobs. Easiest way to upload to picasaweb.
GIMP - for major edit work on photographs. In fact, my friend who uses Photoshop professionally now wants to try GIMP as it is doing certain jobs much faster, and better than Photoshop. Example - the current "Bohemian Rhapsody" title pic was created in a couple of minutes using GIMP.
Google Sketchup - this one is for 3D modeling. I use it primarily to design my home furniture.

Wish list:

AVG - Anti-virus program once my McAfee license expires. Any other free anti-virus programs I should consider?
Jing - Video capture software instead of Camtasia Studio. I have the installer, just don't need it yet.
Apache + MySQL + PHP - If I decide to develop any web application project at home. I will also need a PHP editor software for that. Preferably one with HTML editing capability.

Help me with this experiment: Please let me know if you use any free software which really helps you. And wish me luck.


Yesterday, I was enjoying my unexpected off day at work, and as I normally do, I took a long walk through the streets of Kolkata. Near the popular market area of Gariahat, I saw something, which made me stop - a Sportstar magazine. Well, not exactly a magazine, since it is now printed in a tabloid format, but the logo is unmistakable. After all it is embedded in my childhood! I immediately bought it, a pure nostalgimpulsive (watch out for new entries to the Oxford dictionary next year) buy.

Anyway, back at home, late at night, I put aside the books I was reading, and opened the Sportstar. I read the articles enthusiastically, watched all the pictures, and then realized why it is not the phenomenon that it once used to be. I already knew everything (almost) that was written there, thanks to my daily dose of Sportscenter / Sportszone on TV. The high resolution images look glossier on the web pages. The newspapers are covering sports over three pages. The sports channels almost never fails to show a live event. There was nothing in Sportstar for which I should have to wait till the weekend. Very very different from the days when it used to be a novelty, something to look forward to.

You have to be one of those kids born in the 70s, growing up in the 80s to probably understand the sentiment here. You see, when I was a kid, we didn't have TV at home. Even when we did eventually get a TV, there were two precious channels (a third if you added a booster to the antenna). So sports news was a capsule of a few minutes within 15 minutes of news, which ended before it started. Live action meant cricket matches when they happened, football world cups every four years, and Wimbledon every year.

Even the newspapers were thinner, and sports was a one / one and half page affair in it. For sports crazy kids like us, Sportstar magazine and its likes were a life saver. We would wait for it to hit the stands and gobble up all the news from around the world. The special attraction was the centre four-fold poster. In those internet deprived days, you can only imagine what a high resolution Steffi Graf (or Boris Becker if you like) poster meant to us. In fact before Archies Gallery made it big, those posters with visible fold lines, were the only standard decoration items for our rooms / cupboards. Heck, I even had those old editions clubbed together every year in a thick bind for posterity. I guess every thing has their own time to live, to prosper, and then give way to newer things.

Cross the bridge ...

.. when it is built, and irrespective of what it is called - that is what I say.

For a few days now, the media has been harping about the new bridge connecting Bandra and Worli over sea. It has been hailed as an modern engineering marvel, and much is being written about naming it as "Rajiv Gandhi Setu". I am happy that it is finally complete, and I am convinced that it is an engineering marvel, and is going to help the people in Mumbai, despite the sceptics.

But while reporting this feat, I think the media failed to mention / undermined that the 5.6 km bridge took over 10 years to build for various reasons, raising the cost considerably. I can't help but compare similar infrastructure projects in our neighboring country - China. Hangzhou Bay Bridge connecting Shanghai and Ningbo over sea is 35.6 km long (the longest of it's kind) and was completed in a little over four years. Donghai bridge, which is another bridge over sea and is 32.5 km long, was developed in less than three years. Similarly, while we struggle to complete the railline from Jammu to Srinagar, China already has a train service from Beijing to Lhasa, Tibet, and a motorable road all the way to Everest Base Camp. I know there is no direct competition here, but my point is if they can do it, we must try to learn from them and do it on time too. In case we don't want to admit that others can manage projects better, what about looking at how the Delhi Metro project was done?

About naming the bridge: Nothing against Mr. Rajiv Gandhi, or Mr. Bal Thackeray, or Shivaji, or really, whoever they want to name it after. But why are we so insistent on naming any project after a person? Even when a bridge is named after legends, people usually call them by a convenient name. Case in point: Howrah bridge connecting Howrah to Kolkata is almost never referred to as Rabindra Setu, it's official name. Same goes for Vidyasagar Setu, again connecting Howrah and Kolkata, which is referred to locally as the "2nd Hooghly Bridge". It's not that people don't respect Rabindranath or Vidyasagar; it's quite the opposite - but I think people don't care to call a bridge after people who had nothing to do with the bridge!

Internationally, the few examples of landmark bridges that comes to mind are also named after the location or nearby landmarks. Golden Gate Bridge goes over the "Golden Gate" of San Fransisco. Millau Viaduct is near the town of Millau in France. Brooklyn Bridge connects Manhattan to ... you guessed it... Brooklyn. Tower Bridge in London is near the Tower of London. Sydney Harbor Bridge is obviously.... the list goes on and on. Why can't we just leave "Bandra-Worli Sea Link" to be simply "Bandra-Worli Sea Link"?

Quick Updates

The aid / relief collection for Sunderban (post Aila) is going well. Most of the clothes and other items collected in Kolkata were sent to Kachukhali this week. Next week, before relief goes, I plan to consolidate all the money that I have received, and buy essential items, so that I can take them with me. I must say I have received help from the most unexpected quarters - I can't thank all of you enough. More than anything, it reinforces my belief - there's still a little bit of goodness left in some of us.

Now some more news:

Saddened by MJ's death. After all, his was the first english cassette I bought with my own pocket money savings.

And a couple of personal observations:

Wearing a red t-shirt to a store where all the employees wear red t-shirts is a bad idea.

Terminator Salvation is a super bad idea - I could direct a movie better. No, seriously.

Oh, and finally got my phone display fixed. But not before my friends took unfair advantage of the situation (of no caller ID display) and did a prank on me :( - but that's another story.


When two Bengalis known to each other meet, they typically ask "Ki khobor?" (literally "What news?") or "Kemon acho?" ("How are you?"). Typically the answer is "Ei cholche" ("Going on"), or "Bhalo" ("Good"). We can be in a lot of difficulties, but it is almost always the same answers. I didn't think much about these standard formalities till yesterday. Yesterday made me realize that asking simple questions can be difficult too. Especially if the answer is "I don't have anything left".
I visited a relief camp organised post cyclone Aila, in an area called Kachukhali in the Sunderbans. The one and half hour boat ride to the area was through the beautiful Bidyadhari river, whose banks were laced with lush green local trees. The only trace of disaster at first glance are the places where we could see the bank repair work was going on. We could also see a few dead animals floating on the river. People would hear the motor of the boat and come out to the banks, expecting some aid.

But it is not possible to gauge the damage that the cyclone and the flood thereafter can cause by sitting in a boat and looking at the broken river banks. Once we reached Kachukhali we saw what devastation a cyclone can cause. Devastation is when your mud house is not there anymore, your livestock are dead, the crop fields are filled with saline water making it unusable for at least the next three years, and the fish ponds full of dead fish who died in contact with saline water. They don't practically have anything left!
Among this destruction, local NGOs, government through Panchayets, and other organisations continuously try to provide relief material. During the day, I met and saw few young people work in the relief camp - Shyamali, Sushama and Kalyan among others. Sushama's house has turned into a pile of mud. During the day, she works tirelessly helping others get relief material, all with a smile and dry sense of humor. In the night she now sleeps in a neighbor's courtyard braving the menace of mosquito. Shyamali whose story is similar to Sushama, was also with a smile all day, but for one moment, when we saw tears in her eyes while telling the clothes she was wearing are the only clothes she now has. Kalyan still has his house in place, but he hardly has the time to go there. While we were coming back after visiting an adjoining area, he was informed that his mother fell somewhere and has a gash in her head. We had to literally force him to go and look after his mother, and not worry about us reaching Gatkhali.
The irony in the lives of these relief workers is that they themselves cannot take any relief material, even if they need them, for fear of people accusing them of misusing their power. Yet, amidst this, these workers are more worried that in the immediate future, diarrhea and malaria are going to strike, and how to deal with that. Their boss, Kamalesh mama, worries about the immediate need of mosquito nets, tarpaulin sheets (to serve as damp proof beds) and hurricane lamps (crude lamp which runs on kerosene). He also has to see how to get medicine, specially for malaria and diarrhea. He patiently answers all grievances of people gathered near his house about relief material and it's distribution. Then he looks at the pond outside his house, and predicts philosophically, "Next year, this time, no relief will come, and we will all die of hunger". But he doesn't let this hopelessness linger, after all he leads a team bringing hope to people. When it was time for us to leave, he looked at me and said, "This is your first time here, and you have come at such a time, we couldn't even cook some fish for you".
Perhaps the only thing left in these people is this spirit. This old lady was fishing in a paddy field, still filled with saline water from the flood. She told us how she lost all her goats and hen, and only six of her ducks remain alive. She also told us how her second son and grandson were almost swept away about 200 meters to the river by the flood, but was saved when they grabbed a tree, and came back "home" after the water receded a bit. A home where almost nothing usable is left. The fish she was catching was small salt water fish and shrimp, since all the sweet water fish have died in the flood. Her stock of rice and lentils (dal) were washed away in the flood. She got a sack of rice and some dal through Panchayet, and that is what her family is surviving on. Despite that, during our conversation, she asked us thrice to have lunch at her house. She said "Let me go home and put rice in a pot, and cook these", pointing towards the fresh catch of shrimp. We declined and went our way. In the evening, we met the lady again. This time she was coming back from the river bank, where a relief boat just distributed small packets of rice and potato. She was carrying a packet of rice, and a packet of potato, each about 500 gms, but didn't forget to ask us if we have had lunch. Sometimes, it is difficult to answer these simple questions.


"Silence doesn't mean I have nothing to say. It might mean I have too much to say" - B. O' Hemian, circa 2009.

The last two weeks just flew by, and took me back in time to several degrees:

25 years ago
First, my friend Aniruddha a.k.a Shantu got married. Now, he is my, what some people call, Chuddy buddy. Just that we have been friends even before that. We grew up together in the same neighborhood part of a gang of four, played together, fought each other and more importantly together against others over trivial matters. On his wedding day, some of us started discussing the weird and comical things that he has done in his life, and we just couldn't stop laughing. Seriously, we could write a book on that. Good times!

10 years ago
Next, my friend from Bangladesh, Zaved bhai and bhabi came over for a medical checkup. This was the first time I met him in 8 years. The three days that they stayed with us were spent talking about the time when I was in Bangladesh almost a decade ago. As usual, three days seemed to be too less for all the talking we had to do, and all the food that I had to introduce them to. Hopefully he will come back soon, and we will talk about the good times again.

5 years ago
Then Shaji a.k.a Motey came to Kolkata on office business for a day, and we met up for a late night winding down session. We met after exactly a year, and as expected we started talking about our life in Delhi and what our friends Ganja, Ghansu, Sudzi, Sallu and others are doing. The couple of hours that we could manage to chat was enough to take me back to Delhi, 5-6 years ago, and the good times there.


As you might know, Kolkata is near the middle of crescent shaped coast line of Orissa, West Bengal, and Bangladesh. And each year, one or two cyclones (or Hurricanes) threaten to come towards Kolkata, and just before it hits the coast near Kolkata, it diverts to either Bangladesh or Orissa. But this time, today, it didn't move like Warne's leg spin, nor like Murali's off spin... instead it came on straight towards coastal West Bengal, just like Kumble's regular. And like his balls, this came fast.

Only this morning, did I see the warning in the newspaper that a cyclone named Aila is coming towards coastal West Bengal. And I could see the drizzle outside. When I left home, it was still drizzling with a mild wind from East to West. By the time I reached office, it was raining heavily with strong and erratic winds, mainly from North to South. It soon turned violent with very strong winds which was lifting Asbestos shades from the roof, and bursting electrical transformers. The trees were swaying like crazy and the visibility was poor too. Even mobile networks started acting funny (fortunately not my provider). Some temporary vending stalls were flying in the skies, and old trees were being uprooted. At around 2 pm, we heard a warning that the "main" storm is going to pass over Kolkata at around 4 pm, and people were asked to stay indoors. So we left office, and headed for our homes.

It took me almost two hours to reach home (normally it takes about 40 mins) because of all the trees that fell on the roads, and traffic diversions. Fortunately the rains had stopped by then (only slight drizzle and moderate winds). Reports now say the the cyclone has weakened and there will not be a bigger storm as predicted earlier. Rains and moderate winds should still be here for the next couple of days. I hope things come back to normalcy soon.

P.S: My phone's display is gone. I don't have any way of calling you since I don't memorize phone numbers, and if you call, I won't know it's you. Please bear with me till this is fixed.

How the dark mood of yesterday changed

The single biggest reason has to be the fact that I called and got the misunderstanding that was hurting me cleared.

Then a few conversations with old friends happened. A few nice chats happened. And my mood was ecstatic.

Although many people I know discuss about getting fitter (and losing tummy) with me, very few actually follow my tips. But finally, my own mother started to follow the modifications I made to my diet, and asked me about a few exercises that she can do. As they say, "Charity and health revolution begins at home".

I received the pictures from Prashant. Did I tell you that I won a photograph in a lucky draw on Prashant's site? This is the picture (from his site) with my idea of the frame:

C'est la vie

Was in a pensive mood today, and thinking about life... in general. Re-realized that the only people capable of emotionally hurting us, are the ones we really care (or cared) about.

The same actions or words by someone else, with whom we are not emotionally attached, would probably not even bother us, even slightly.


The people of my country has chosen, and they have chosen Congress and it's allies to lead this country for the next five years. However, this time I was not so bothered about national politics so much. For me, the real battle was going on in my state - West Bengal. The battle to rule West Bengal in the state Legislative assembly, the election of which is due in the next two years, is on.

Here the main opposition Trinamool Congress have started playing the games the ruling party - The Left Front has been playing for years. It's not that these games are welcome in a civilised state, but Trinamool are doing a better job of playing those games than others and hence winning. The Left Front lost a significant number of seats in the national elections this time, and Trinamool Congress hugely improved their tally of one seat last time to 19 seats this time.

Of course, there are various theories doing the rounds explaining the reasons for this result. Some are trying to blame it on the Congress wind on a national level, and it seems that Mr. Prakash Karat is being made the scapegoat for this debacle of CPIM, the biggest of the Left Front parties. The decision to quit the UPA over the nuclear deal issue, and the expulsion of Mr. Somnath Chatterjee from the party didn't go down too well with some members of the party itself.

Some of the winners are trying to attribute this unexpected result directly to the "struggle" that Trinamool has done in places like Nandigram and Singur. They feel that the people of West Bengal are fed up with the way the Left Front govt. rules here.

Whatever the reasons, the general feeling seems to be that this is the indication that things are not going to be so easy for the Left front in the next state elections. Like some "intellectuals" here are saying, people need "Change". Honestly, I need change too. I just need to make myself believe that the change is going to be a good change. As of now, I don't know what the Trinamool Congress' policy is going to be if they are elected to rule West Bengal in the next state elections.

Hope we get some clarity on that in the next two years. And also hope that the show of power is restricted to intellectual prowess and not physical might.

Reason for eating Biriyani # 12

Because the weather is nice :)

Just-cast-my-vote post

We, as a nation may not be even close to being well governed, but at least we have elections to be proud of. Just look at our neighboring countries and their history, and you will know what I am talking about.

Hope we get good people from within the system.

From blogging to micro-blogging

Just joined Twitter. Not that I had not heard about it earlier, but then, there are so many "social networking sites" which come up every day, I try to avoid them. But Twitter is creating too much noise (that's a positive noise) these days, so giving it a try.

Follow me @ http://twitter.com/brainbit

Experienced Tweeters (or is it Twitters - see! I have no clue) please pass on those tips.

Quick points

  • After a very dry April, May has brought along some rain in Kolkata / West Bengal.
  • Kolkata Knight Riders continue to look like actors in cricket gear. Currently they are a class apart with one win in seven, while other teams have managed at least three wins each.
  • I am still confused with English grammar. Is "The multiple captains of KKR is Mr. McCullum" correct?
  • People here are more interested in regional politics and regional elections than national votes. Perhaps it comes from the experience that power change in Delhi doesn't change anything to their daily lives.
  • Buchki is doing fine, but her adopter was down with flu for a couple of days, and still have trouble speaking due to a parched throat.
  • I think ladies should be banned from distributing free medical advice. I can handle physical discomfort, but the mental torture of listening to "Gargle with warm water", "Have Tulsi with honey", "Have Turmeric and Milk" 100 times a day! It's not funny!

Net and Netbook

It's been pretty satisfying this weekend. First I adopted "Buchhki": an Acer Netbook. It's so small that all the other members in my family doubted if it can do what my old laptop did. I had to really assure them that this one does everything plus some. It even has a webcam! Of course it doesn't have a DVD player / writer; but then, can't have everything together!

Then I finally got the BSNL broadband too! Of course the line was installed a couple of weeks ago, the broadband modem given a week ago, and the password sent yesterday. True to BSNL style, I was left to figure out what to do with those, so I called the helpline. The phone helpline gave me a ticket number, and I was to wait for them to contact me to fix the problem. But in the meanwhile, I tinkered with the settings, tried a few things, and lo - it's up and running. In fact I am using the netbook to type these very words, and using the secured wireless connection that I configured to post this.

It's getting hot in here...

Remember I wrote about Kalbaisakhi? I don't know if I jinxed it or not, but since then, Kolkata has not seen any rain, making this the hottest April in years. This weekend the temperature went over 40 in Celsius, and it was extremely dry for this part of the country.

Add to that a major power outage in the city on Sunday, when even services like Metro (underground rail), hospitals, and airport were hit. Even the traffic signals were out for some time! Power supply was restored to normalcy only by late night.

Since yesterday, the humidity has also increased, making it all the more unbearable. I went to the market this morning, and one of the vegetable vendor collapsed from heat stroke right in front of me. I am trying my best to beat the heat with cap / sunscreen / sunglasses, and plenty of fluids. If I survive, will see you here. Else, charge global warming for murder.

Public Holiday

My Ma went to the bank yesterday, and found it closed. The security guard there knew it was a holiday, but didn't know why. Anyway, Ma came back and asked me why the bank was closed and I told her - it was Dr. B. R. Ambedkar's birthday.

This raised a question in my mind... what is the significance of celebrating holidays on birthdays of famous personalities? How many of us know who Dr. Ambedkar was beyond the title of "Father of Constitution" or the fact that he was from a low caste who defied all odds to achieve great academic success? Why Dr. Ambedkar alone? We celebrate so many birthdays of famous citizens of India by making it a holiday - M. K. Gandhi, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, Dr. Radhakrishnan, Subhash Chandra Bose, Rabindranath Tagore - some of them on a regional basis, but I really think we miss the point of celebrating the birthdays. We take it as another holiday for us to enjoy. Tell me honestly, what works for you better? A school giving holiday on Dr. Ambedkar's birthday, or a school having normal classes with the assembly time (or any other period) used for letting everyone know of his philosophies and vision? I don't remember gaining any additional knowledge about Mr. Gandhi from watching "Gandhi" year after year on DD during the time I was in school!

But no one protests in India because we don't believe in our right to work, it is rather the other way round - we just need an excuse to not-work! If we collectively believed in our right to work, we would not have bandhs and hartals as late as 2009! I am sure we can find better ways of doing things!

I like days like these

When two ex-colleagues (friends really - somehow, ex-colleagues and friends do not score same on excitement level) call me after a long time.
Aro called to say that just the day before, he locked himself out of his 8th floor flat. So he had to find a ladder to place somewhere on the 7th floor in order to climb to the window of his flat; and after climbing up, he realized it was the wrong window!

James, my partner in crime for several years in many things, including training, travels, and overeating, called and we exchanged updates mostly about our common friends.
And then two school friends also call me the same day. Samrat is in town and we plan to meet this weekend; and then Nilu got my number from Samrat, and we spoke after at least 15 years. Now that we are in touch again, thanks largely to Orkut, she is one of the oldest friend I have, having studied together from Nursery to Class Five!

The icing on the cake would have been my favorite football teams winning important matches. Unfortunately, ManU managed just a draw against Porto, and Mohun Bagan lost to Kuwait SC. Can't have everything in one day, I guess!

A picture is worth a thousand words

My friend, Prashant, is celebrating his 30th birthday this month, in a unique style. He is selling his photographs to raise money for child education and rights. All the money raised would go to Sankalp, a project of ASK.
One of the photographs on sale.
I was proud to be associated with a similar project he took up in 2008. I personally visited the ASK office in Gurgaon last year, and know a few very talented friends who have been associated with ASK / Sankalp, directly or indirectly. I can vouch for the hard and focused work that these guys put towards various causes.
Another photograph on sale.
So, my friends, I would request you to go through the 30on30 site, where the photographs are being sold. Please read more about the project, and go through the photographs. If you like any of them, buy it. If you don't like any photograph (which basically means you have no taste :P), but still like the idea, help us spread the word. Maybe you can just put the badge (displayed below) on your site for a few days, maybe you can tell your friends, or join the Facebook event - any effort, big or small, is much appreciated.

Help us spread the word.
Add this badge to your blog
Each picture on the site is worth a thousand rupees. But, as they say in the Mastercard ads, the value of child education those thousand rupees will provide, is priceless!


First there's the Stifling heat. Then comes the breeze, and the clouds rumble, sending sparks of lightning, followed by a short but blinding dust storm. Then it rains. The rain washes away everything, it cools everything down.

That's Kalbaisakhi (roughly pre-summer storm / rain) - common in these parts of the country this time of the year. But for me, it also symbolises a situation when we have to confront someone or discuss something really important.

We think about the discussion, play the conversations several times in our mind, apprehend the reactions, and think of the consequences. It almost makes us crazy - to the point that we can't take it anymore. Then we talk. And the reactions are surprisingly cool, all the apprehensions are gone, things are clear, and the world is such a better place to be in.

Both happened here last evening.

Marching past March and Silence explained

First the silence explained: It's not that I don't have anything to write; I have too much to write! Mostly good stuff, some sad stuff, and some really good things that has happened to me. So, I couldn't decide what to write, and honestly, didn't get much time to think about the blog.

Now the Marching past March part:

This morning, as I was walking past a school near my house, the beats of a marching band reached my ears. Even without realizing, I started walking to the beats: left... left... left, right, left! As I soon realized it, it brought a smile to my face, and instantly took me back to my school days. When in class 9, I auditioned for the March Past team, which was a seriously prestigious team in our school, and got selected because of my height (they needed everyone with the same height). Then came the grueling practice schedule, with an Army Jawan coming to train us each day for about a month. We were training to participate in the 26th January Republic day parade, held each year at Red Road in Kolkata. The winning teams, one boy's team and one girl's team, gets to participate in the next year's Republic day parade in Delhi! I would never forget walking with a rod across the back held under the arms to get a straight torso. Or, the practice to raise the feet and arms exactly as high as others in the line are raising. Even the turning of head to the right and salute were practiced for hours. On 23rd January, we participated in a smaller competition just to get our groove going. Then, on the D-day, we marched past the Governor of West Bengal, heads held high, torso straight, legs rising in unison, uniform smartly pressed - a proud bunch. We didn't win the competition, I think National High School stole it from us by putting steel plates under their soles to get a smart clicking sound; but it didn't matter at the end of the day. We did our best.

So, there you go... a post! See you soon!

Ghatsila - Holi khela

The day I returned to Kolkata from Sikkim, I got a call in the evening from a school friend to meet up. I passed, since I was too tired that day. But others from the group, which now includes their spouses as well, met and called me to "inform" that I was going with them to Ghatsila during the Holi holidays. Not request, not ask, but inform! Being the only bachelor in the group has it's own "dis"-advantages :(

So anyway, we took an early morning train to Ghatsila, Jharkhand. It had rained there the night before making the weather very pleasant. We didn't waste much time and a quick lunch later went out to explore the area. First up was Burudih lake, a result of the creation of Burudih dam, a few kilometers away from the town. The "jungle" route was scenic, but not for those with a bad back. We did some paddle boating in the beautiful lake, and moved on to Phuldugri hills. Supposedly quite a number of movies have been shot there, but we couldn't really see why! We did some still photo shooting of our own there and came back to the town. We spoke to a lot of people, and almost all of them warned us not to venture out on Holi day. Apparently, it gets "nasty"! We were a little disappointed at this, since we wanted to see a few more places the next day. But once back to our hotel, we managed to drown our disappointment over a few drinks, and enjoyed ourselves with a lot of singing, eating and talking.
Burudih lake

The next morning, two of us went out to figure out the scene. We were quite surprised to see that at 07:30 in the morning, a shoe shop and a clothes shop was open - that too on Holi! We didn't find a single person with colors smeared on them! So we came back to our hotel, and discussed the possibility of venturing out. But instead of getting ready, we started playing Holi amongst ourselves in the hotel, and made quite a mess of ourselves and the common room. Meanwhile the streets were also full of people in colorful colors. We were pleasantly surprised to see that people weren't going bizzare with strangers on the road. The revelers would ask for permission and then smear gulaal (aabir) or water colors. When I went out to buy some more colors, two of them politely said "Happy Holi", and only put colors on my arm. We didn't see a single water baloon being thrown. The funny thing was, the drunk ones seemed to be more keen on throwing their own shirts up in the air and catching them than throwing colors!
It's ok if you don't recognize me

Post lunch we could have gone out, but since one of us was not feeling too well, we stayed back and rested. In the evening, we played a lot of dumb charade, and really got involved. As you can imagine, there were a lot of dumb-ness in dumb charade, and quite a few laughter champion moments. It went on till late in the night, but still, some of us got so involved, that they actually woke up in the middle of the night to jot down a few difficult movie names for the next day's play!
The hands that played Holi

The next morning, we went to visit the Subarnarekha river. It was more like a stream, and my guess is, it has a lot to do with the Burudih dam holding the water. We lingered there for a while, strolled for a while, had our breakfast, and came back to our hotel for some more dumb charade! Post lunch, we took the train back to Kolkata. Even there, we "adjusted" with others so that we could be in the same seat-cubicle, and played yet more dumb charade!
Subarnarekha river

Believe it or not, this was my first trip with school friends, and it doesn't get much better than this. I am already looking forward to more trips with them. The post trip party is next weekend, where we are sure to discuss a longer trip :)

Walking for Dummies - A case study

Case: How to reach Jureli Dara Watch Tower from Anden Forest Rest House

1. Come out of the Rest House and take the road towards Hilley (opposite direction to Sombarey) - the milestone right in front of the Rest House should help you with the direction.

2. Walk the gently up-sloping, winding road past this very unlikely Mandir (see left), approximately 800 meters from the starting point.

3. Continue with your walk for about a kilometer. At this point, you will reach a sharp curve.

At this point, my friends, I give you two options.

Option 1: The Stairs

a) Look towards your left after the curve, you will see an enticing staircase. Climb it.

b) Once at the top of the staircase, you turn right and get to see another equally steep, and long staircase. Take some deep long breaths and let your heartbeat step down a little, and then climb the second set of stairs.

c) At the top of the staircase, you will find a courtyard. If you are lucky like me, you will see three generations of a family working / playing together there.

d) On asking about the watch tower, they will show you a narrow trail, and warn you that the road is bad. Disregard the warning, and take the narrow trail through fairly dense vegetation. After all, you have the boots that takes you anywhere!

e) After about 200 meters, stop! Look ahead at the small rivulet, and wonder where the trail is. Look back, and wonder where you came from!

f) Curse yourself for not listening to the family back there. Suddenly become a believer and pray, and take a step forward in the direction of what you think is the trail.

g) After about another 100 meters, suddenly see two telecommunications towers. Now feel relieved since one can see these towers from miles away, and hence, in theory you should be able to see clearly from here too. But no, you can't see the watch tower from here. And to make things trickier, the trail tri-furcates from here!

h) Wait... the watchman (of one of the towers) is here. Ask him about the watch-tower. He shows you the mobile tower! Try to explain this is not what you are looking for; you are looking for a tower from where you can watch birds; mimic a bird's flight; it will not work. Ask him instead where the road is. This time he confidently shows you the trail to follow.

i) Take about 50 steps and you see the watch tower right in front of you.

Option 2: The other option

Oh, yes! The second option... well, follow the same road that you have been walking (don't take the stairs), and after about 200 meters you reach the watch tower. It's right there by the road!

This picture is taken from the Watch tower.
Here you can see the two options I have presented.
You can see the last part of Option 1 towards the right
(coming from towards the telecom towers).
The main road, of course, is Option 2.

Sikkim Revisited

The last time I went to Sikkim, in 2007, I fell in love with the place. I fell in love with Gangtok, the Tsomgo (Changu) lake, Nathula pass; places in North Sikkim - Lachen, Lachung, Gurudongmar lake, Yumthung; Pelling in West Sikkim; the people, the food, everything. This time, I revisited the capital of Sikkim - Gangtok, and then visited a totally obscure, non-touristy place near Sombarey in West Sikkim. I went with my Mama, who had some work there, and for me it was a both a complete leisure trip, plus, an eye opener on the practical problems that people staying there face.

For the first two days, we were in Gangtok. To be honest, the last time I went there, I didn't explore the city fully. This time, I went to the "tourist spots" alone and on foot - I think that's the best way to explore a small city like Gangtok. The most noticable change that I saw in Gangtok in the last two years is the beautification process. M. G. Marg - the mall / shopping area has been given a complete make-over with cars banned, flower beds and fountains installed, and plenty of new shops / eating joints. I was told that this beautification is being implemented in all towns of Sikkim (I did see some of it in Jorethang). Plus, there is no plastic packets anywhere in the town, and the footpaths are well marked and with barricades - so that people don't walk ON the streets.
For the next few days, I was in a place called Anden Forest Rest House, near a town (village really) called Sombarey in West Sikkim (alt - around 5000 ft). I was really surprised by the Rest House, as it is nothing like a "Forest Rest House". It is more like a luxury hotel! And neither is it in a forest, although the region around it has a lot of thick vegetation. The place is well known for birds, but I must admit, I could hear a lot of bird chirps, but couldn't see them much. Around two kilometers away was a watch tower, which I visited one morning. How I made that seemingly easy walk difficult for myself is another story :)
Anyway, I did meet a lot of bright young people from the nearby villages who came to attend a workshop, and as I said earlier, it was an eye opener for me talking to them about the practical problems they face. To begin with, two of them walked about 20 kms from Ribdi to attend the program just because the lone bus service was canceled that day. Things that we take for granted in our big cities, like high speed internet, photocopy or a photo print, are unavailable / prohibitively expensive! Even things like stationery are not readily available. On the other hand, some progress has been made there too - mobile network is everywhere, satellite TV is there even in the "forest" rest house, the roads are much better than what they used to be (despite the landslide hazards), and people have work thanks to the rural employment scheme.
I really enjoyed the cold weather there, and the soft sunshine. And yes, the flowers - I knew I was forgetting something! How can I not mention the flowers. Everywhere you go, you see flowers - known, unknown, bright, pale - the entire state seems to be in bloom!
In conclusion, I confirm: I AM in love with Sikkim.

Vacation responder

Taking the rest of February off. Going to Sikkim.

See you in March.

Life is not all that bad....

Last evening, my friend, Milan and I got caught up with some work which detained us a few hours beyond our normal office hours. meanwhile the other office in the building also shut down for the day. Not going in to the details of who / why / how, the security person locked the main gates and the outer gate and left.

Imagine the two of us, eager to go home, happy that the testing went well, glad that the internet connection didn't betray us like it was doing for the last few days, and suddenly we find ourselves locked in.

We called our colleagues, got the office man-for-all-jobs promise to come ASAP with the keys, and started thinking about our situation. The worst case was if no one came! But then we had biscuits, jams, pickles, sauce, and Hajmola to eat; we have good music to listen to; few movie DVDs to watch; internet to chat / browse; roof to ourselves (to stargaze); and phone to talk to our near and dear ones. We even started singing. Well, I sang "Masakali" in rap beats... and Milan sang a self written devotional song, which roughly translates to "Either you (Goddess Kali) come, or keys come". Life is not all that bad, if you know how to look at it.

Well, after a few minutes, our man came with the main gate keys, but without the outer gate keys. But, then, we were only too glad to climb the five ft. wall and the gate over to freedom.

Affair: Book fair

The last time I went to the Kolkata book fair was 10 years ago. Since then, I have stayed outside Kolkata, and each year I would come to Kolkata in December, and find it impossible to manage leaves in late January / early February (when Book fair is held each year). Last year, I was here in the city, but circumstances were gloomy this time last year. So, this year, I had to go. After all it's a Kolkatan tradition!

Now, if you don't know already, Kolkata book fair used to be held in the central open area of Kolkata, known as Maidan. But due to environmental reasons, it has been shifted to a new location, which most of us consider as outskirts and 'odd'. But once inside, I don't think the spirit is any different from what it used to be.

It's still full of passionate people moving from one kiosk to another stall, with loads of pamphlets in hand. Still, bunch of college kids hang out together there, tired from all the walking, looking for a place to sit and a sip of water. The 'intellectual' Bong (in Bengali, we call them 'Antel') searching for one particular book in every stall. The small publishers employing someone outside their stall to get people to visit their stall. The odd romeo, with no inclination towards books, but just happy to see all the pretty ladies. The odd announcement for 'little Ruma' who got lost in the fair, and whose parents are waiting outside the official kiosk. The rare foreigner, trying to soak in all the chaos and frenzy. The grumpy parent scolding the disgruntled kid to stop asking for more books. The sketch artist, oblivious to surrounding onlookers, replicating a face on paper. The young jobless lamenting the lack of money to buy all the books he wanted. It's still the same old Kolkata book fair.

It is ironic that the same old Maidan ground was used for a political rally on the last day of book fair; and cooking, eating, littering and all associated acts were performed liberally there. One bus even got smoldered by a gas cylinder burst. Why was the Book fair shifted, again?

Anyway, I bought a few books, and can't wait to read them. Thank heavens, there's such a wonderful tradition here.

Who wants to be a reporter?

On 4th February, 2009, Kounteya Sinha in Times of India reported this: 'Indian cooking oils unfit'. Gyst of the story: A study by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) found all cooking oil brands in India to contain unhealthy trans fat, many times above the recommended level. Interestingly, the study found Amul butter to be the least harmful of the lot. As a result, choosing a lesser evil, the popular sun flower oil that we have been using was thrown down the drain and all cooking at my home was done with butter that day (naah, just kidding).

On 5th February, 2009, the same Kounteya Sinha in Times of India reports this: 'Indian refined oils safe for cooking'. Gyst of the story: A study by CSE has found refined Vegetable oils in India have negligible trans fat hence are safe.

For a pack of Amul butter, here is your question: Which report is correct?

a) Report saying all oils are bad
b) Report saying all oils are safe
c) Both the reports
d) None of the reports

The only reason I am writing it here is because a few months ago there was this article in TOI (Kolkata) about a a few bikers reaching Everest base camp in Khardungla!!! I wrote a scathing comment to the editor (online), but it was not published. I wrote a comment on this article too, but I don't know if this is going to be published!

Brushing up on my Hindu Mythology

Reading all the headlines and breaking news about what happened in Mangalore recently, a thought hit me: Shri Ram's Sena (army) during the attack on Ravana / Lanka was comprised, almost exclusively, of monkeys. Wasn't it?

SlumK9 Millionaire

I finally watched Slumdog Millionaire. I don't know what's the big fuss about the movie and it's criticism.

I don't get the objection about depicting poverty. It is not the only India, true. But it IS India. They are all real life scenarios, except maybe the "potty" scene. Just that, all of it may not happen to one person. But it's a work of fiction. No one claimed this to be a biography of anyone!

Talking of real world, how realistic is a scantily clad lady with a bare chested, 6/8 packed man singing and dancing in open spaces? Or better still, with rows of similar dressed ladies dancing in the background? Or villains doing Olympic level spins in the air before falling after being hit by a hero's punch? Or cars rotating in the air, and rolling before exploding in flames? If I can handle those, I can handle depiction of poverty.

The big question is will it get the Oscar? Should it? When I think of Oscars, some of the movies that come to my mind, are the ones I can see anytime, anywhere, n number of times. I don't think this movie belongs to that category. Still a decent watch.

P.S: Another reason why I liked this movie... I knew the answers to all the questions asked, except for the 100 dollar bill question. Then I would have used "phone-a-friend" and called one of my US based friends.

Reality health-check

It happens so many times that we talk about getting a health check-up done, and then we forget all about it and get on with our lives. And in unfortunate cases, one fine day, without any warning, a pain in the arm and someone finds out he has a heart condition. Classic example - my father. My father was a top class footballer who played for Mohun Bagan and Bengal, didn't smoke / drink / party, slept / woke early, avoided spicy / oily food, had a lean body mass, in short - a model "healthy" person. Yet he suffered from a heart ailment in his early 40s, and carried a pacemaker later in his life. If it can happen to him, it can happen to anybody.

Proud to announce that yesterday I had a lipid profile test done to check my cholesterol level, and all is well here. So, my friends, do the right thing - get yourself checked, specially if you are over 30.

The list grows

I don't trust most politicians for obvious reasons. When approaching a police official, I don't know if he is a rare honest and hardworking law enforcer or the more frequently found corrupt one. When going to a doctor, I don't know if the medicines he prescribed is what I need or they are prescribed because he gets cut money from the medicine companies. When seeking justice, I don't know if the lawyer only does lip service to his "noble profession". It's a long list, but there were still a few sectors / industries which I believed won't join the list.

But, when one of the top IT companies in India, whose shares determine the fate of the Indian Stock Market, with numerous awards including a recent award for corporate governance, with a blue eyed boy of Indian IT sector with several "Entrepreneur of the year" award as it's CEO, with one of the top ranking auditor firms auditing it's accounts, is involved in a humongous financial scam, I just don't know what's next in the list.

New Year Resolution: To have fun

A very peaceful new year to all. Hope you had fun ushering it in.

It's been a nice extended weekend for me. First, I had to spend a day visiting distant relatives to invite them for my cousin's wedding later this month and quite liked it.

Second, the school gang met up after a long time for a nice dinner. This, despite the fact that much of the conversation revolved around my marital status and chalking out an action plan to "rectify" it. Good luck guys :)

Then I spent a day accompanying friends on a whirlwind tour of Kolkata including spots I haven't been to / haven't been to in a long time. How I wish that all my friends came with places like a cemetery, and a boat ride on Hooghly river on their must-do list, instead of malls and "Someplace else". I guess, all of us can't have common interests. But one common interest which almost all my friends have, is good food sampling, and I sure can't complain about that. Kolkata, in my humble opinion, is still the best place to have food in India. The only regret is one needs a few days to try out the different delicacies Kolkata has to offer, and almost always, my friends leave before I am satisfied they had even 10%. Anyway, doesn't matter, if they had a good time here...

Final report
Week: 1, Year: 9, Millennium: 3 - Fun; resolution fulfilled.